According to the US Census Bureau and USA Trade Online, the Port of Kalama is the third largest bulk exporter on the West Coast right after Los Angeles and Long Beach, California. Handling well over 13 million tons of bulk commodities, the Port of Kalama weighs in as one of the nation’s largest tonnage export facilities shipping more bulk cargo than even its neighbors Portland, Longview and Seattle.
As an internationally-renowned marine terminal on the Columbia River and home to some of the most efficient grain export facilities on the west coast, the Port of Kalama plays a key role in the nation’s robust export trade industry. In fact, the Columbia River is the third largest grain export gateway in the world, exporting more than 50% of the nation’s wheat.
Today, 50 million tons of cargo travel up and down the Columbia River.
The Port of Kalama is home to 30 industries employing more than 1,000 people, who choose the Port for its superior customer service and business support. Together, Port of Kalama companies and facilities accounted for over 13 million tons of grain exports in 2018 alone.
Honoring 100 years of service to the nation’s booming export business
At almost 100 years old, the Port of Kalama is no stranger to international trade, commerce and transportation. Port of Kalama enjoys a rich history that weaves through time along waterways, railways and roadways to drive home why transportation and commerce like bulk exports continues to be the community’s mainstay today.
On Monday, December 22, 1919, a group of Kalama residents met at the Kalama Business Men’s Club to discuss the formation of a port district. By May, 1920, the Port of Kalama was born of a local election process.
Today highway, rail and water meet in Kalama at some of the most efficient transportation networks in the country. Kalama’s particular landscape gave birth to a booming transportation system impacting the area both culturally and economically—ultimately transforming the area into its position today as an internationally-connected community.
Currently, there are 75 public port districts in Washington. Large and small, east to west, Washington’s ports are active in many different areas of economic development, providing jobs and economic stimulation for their communities.
We celebrate the Port of Kalama’s place in this system of commerce and export that impacts our state’s economy.